Political parties and voter mobilisation in local government elections in Indonesia : the case of Manado City

  • Stefanus Sampe

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Democratisation and decentralisation in Indonesia have brought significant changes in local politics, especially concerning elections. Since the enactment of Law 32/2004 on Local Government, the local executive elections in Indonesia, which were previously done by the local councils, have been carried out directly by the people. People have been given the opportunity to exercise their right to determine their leaders at the local level. Likewise, political parties have seized the opportunity to participate in local elections by recruiting candidates and mobilising voters. The direct local government election has become a central element in Indonesia’s decentralisation policy. Through the election, the local people are encouraged to participate in choosing their leaders and passing judgment on government’s performance. However, there is far less research and writing on local elections than on national elections, both in Indonesia and in developing countries more generally. This thesis aims to make a contribution to filling this gap in the literature on local election by in-depth case study research on electoral mobilisation undertaken by political parties in the local government elections in Indonesia. The research examines in detail the ways in which political parties in an Indonesian city, Manado, go about mobilising citizens to vote for their candidate and seeks different actors’ views on the effectiveness on the various mobilisation techniques. This research uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches to examine the 2010 local government election in Manado City. These methods include in-depth interviewing of the local leaders of political parties, the heads of campaign teams, the candidates, the personnel of the local electoral organisations, the representatives of non-government organisations (NGOs) which monitored the election, mass media personnel, and selected voters in the local community. Local newspapers were also consulted to follow the mobilisation undertaken by political parties in the Manado local election. In addition, direct observation had been done during the 2010 local government election in Manado City. The main findings include a diversity of opinion on the effectiveness of mobilisation strategies. Also, voters tend to choose candidates on personal merits not party affiliation but parties are essential for mobilising voters.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMark Turner (Supervisor) & Anthea Mccarthy-Jones (Supervisor)

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